Monday, February 15, 2010

Heavenly Cake Bakers: Double Chocolate Valentine Cake

Double. Chocolate. Valentine. Cake.  No other words needed.

If I had a Valentine, this is what I would have baked for him.  And of course, he would have to share!

This is the second cake that I've baked with the Heavenly Cake Bakers group and I can't begin to tell you how glad I am that I joined this group. First of all, everyone has been so welcoming and have left such kind comments on my blog. I had a rather busy week last week (hence, only one post last week) and I will be catching up with my blog reading and will get back to those in my group who have been so nice and friendly during my first week (again, THANK YOU for your comments). In addition to the wonderful support, I was honored to be the featured baker at the Heavenly Cake Blog and it totally made my week!

When I first went through Rose's Heavenly Cake book, this was one of the MANY recipes I marked that I wanted to try. I'm so glad that I didn't have to wait long, because this is a FANTASTIC chocolate cake! I had a feeling that this cake would be very TEMPTING and since I'm trying to not eat too many desserts (since I'm around them so often with Jillicious Desserts), I decided to cut the recipe in half and use my new small heart-shaped pans for this cake. But let me just state for the record, when I make it again, it will be the regular 9-inch size and I'll have to invite friends over to help eat it, so I can justify making a larger cake--yes, it really was that DELICIOUS.

Double Chocolate Valentine Cake

Prior to making this cake, I read the directions carefully and even watched this video over at Rose's Blog, Real Baking with Rose Levy Beranbaum and found this cake very easy to make. This particular cake pan had fairly deep heart shapes and because I did cut the recipe in half, it made four nice sized heart cakes. Because they were smaller cakes, it only took less time, about 28 minutes to bake.

As soon as I pulled them from the oven, I used a bamboo skewer to poke holes in them, to prepare them to soak up the chocolate ganache glaze.

Ganache Glaze

I made the ganache the regular way; stirring the scalded cream into the finely chopped chocolate. Since it was a small batch, I didn't use the food processor (although that technique works very well) mostly because I didn't want to wash any extra dishes. (I made the ganache while the cakes were baking.)

After poking the holes in the cakes, I brushed the ganache over each of the cakes and then following the detailed directions from the book, I inverted them onto a tray with plastic wrap, poked holes in the bottom (which was now the top) and brushed more ganache over the surface and sides of the cakes.

I could already tell that this was going to taste great--just look at all that wonderful chocolate goodness!

After soaking a good amount of ganache on each cake, I refrigerated them for about an hour and then decorated them.

Whipped Cream Topping

In the recipe, Rose suggests to pipe the whipped cream around the base or serve with a dollop of cream on the side. I decided to pipe the whipped cream on the top of the cakes, because I used a darker cocoa in the cake and knew it would need the whipped cream to balance out the richness of the dessert. It was the perfect combination of rich chocolate and sweetened whipped cream.


Luckily, I had a few raspberries left over from some dessert orders over the weekend and I didn't have to go searching for them or pay the expensive amount they cost at this time of year. I also garnished the cakes with some Guittard Dark Chocolate curls that I had made.

Jill's Notes
One of things that I find very useful when trying new recipes, is to make notes right in the book. I find that in doing this, the notes won't get lost and if it is awhile before I make it again, I'll know exactly what I did, or changed or what to do differently next time. Also, I write the date I made the recipe and when I make it again, I note that date as well. I usually rate the recipe as excellent, very good, good, fair or poor and this one was definitely rated EXCELLENT. Since I'm not the best at keeping a regular journal, I love looking back to see how often I was baking and remembering the experience--like a little baking journal.

So, if you have this book, turn to page 113 and make this cake today!


  1. I make note in my cookbooks too.... your notes are much neater than mine ;). Lovely presentation. I like that your raspberries are bottom side up - really nicely done!


  2. Adorable! You have such a good eye for presentation.

  3. Beautifully presented! I love the contrast of the whipped cream against the dark chocolate cakes.

  4. Wow, its beautiful, evewn though I don't love chocolates, I love it is cakes!!, this is so appealing!!, lovely presentation

  5. I make notes in my cookbooks too!! They become like my personal journal. Beautiful cakes.

  6. OMG! do we all make notes on the cookbooks??? Except that I use a post-it note (I cannot bring myself to write on the actual book - yes, people I'm weird that way) Jill, I love your cakes, its like giving a piece of one hearts to someone and I have to agree with everyone here, your decorating skills - OFF THE HOOK!

  7. Beautiful cake. Elegant presentation! I love that you make notes in the cookbook. I tried to keep a baking journal (on a regular notebook) but it only lasted a couple of months. I think your handwriting is very pretty. Much better than mine :).

  8. Love the addition of raspberries! It just put it over the top!

  9. Wow..i love your presentation and how you decorated your cakes! I saw the heart shaped cake pan in the stores today and contemplating if i should buy it, but now seeing your cakes, i feel like getting one too! :)

  10. These look fantastic. I love these little single serving cakes but just don't have the patience to make them myself. Welcome to the group. So glad you decided to join and share your beautiful work with us


  11. Stunning little cakes and very impressed with how neatly you write in the margin.

    But then again, you did dust your raspberries, just so. Perfection that really sets them off. So I should expect perfect handwriting as well!

  12. What a lovely cake! I would have liked that for Valentine's Day. I love chocolate.

    Great presentation.

  13. Beautiful! I really like the smaller version too.

  14. Really pretty, indeed. The raspberries do make just the right touch.

  15. ButterYum: Thanks! I love the raspberries both ways.

    Vicki: Thank you!

    Evil Cake Lady: Thanks--the whipped cream was delicious with the dark chocolate cake.

    Jayasri: Thank you--I'm glad you liked it.

    Virgina: Great minds think alike! :)

    Monica: Post-it notes are a great idea. Sometimes I find it hard to write in a brand new book, but once I do, it gets easier and then years later I'm always glad I did. :)

    Jenn: Thank you! I've tried keeping a baking journal too, but had to just switch to jotting down notes in the cookbooks--I need to be better at journaling. :)

    Barbara: Thank you! :)

    Faithy: I was really happy with the heart-shaped pans--the cakes just slid out so easily! :)

    Raymond: Thank you and I too, have enjoyed reading your blog and seeing your creations. :)

    Nicola: *Blushing* Thank you for your kind complements. :)

    Comfycook: Thanks!

    Lynnette: Thanks--I felt less guilty eating the smaller version too! :)

    Nancy B: Thank you--the raspberries were nice and sweet and went with the dark chocolate very well.

  16. Holy Moly! Those look unbelievable! I will be your Valentine just to have some of that cake. :)

  17. Those are lovely! I made mini hearts too, but with a different pan. Yours are cuter!

  18. Srsly? Ganache brushed on top? Holy crap, my V-day was wasted! :)

  19. Your presentation looks lovely and I bet the cakes tasted devine. I hear you about a busy week. My valentine orders were crazy so I didn't have time to make this cake. Thanks for visiting my blog and leaving a sweet comment.

  20. Jill..I was just thinking the same thing a few days ago. Whenever I get a comment from you, or check out your blog and leave a comment..I feel like it's been forever since we've talked!

    Anyway..these cakes are GORGEOUS! You are so talented, Jill..and no doubt many benefited visually and 'palatably' from your expertise. Perfect for Valetine's Day and mouth watering!

  21. OMG - SOAKED IN GANACHE! What were they thinking that is brilliant. Jill, I really must get this book. Keep this up and your going to have a Valentine really soon!

  22. ב''ה

    Wow! Looks great. How divine to work as a baker. :)

  23. It is a perfect combination and looks beautiful on the plate. Definitely great for valentine's treat, but due to its tempting appeal and richness, I think it will fit any occasion.

    It depends on the cooking book, if it too nice and printed on fancy paper, I couldn't bring myself to write on it, it is just my thing, I guess.....

    Sawadee from Bangkok,

  24. I wish I could have been the recipient of this chocolate beauty!

  25. I like your idea about making notes... I'm just not so sure I could bring myself to write in such a beautiful book! I almost made this for V-day instead of the red velvet. It sounds and looks like it would have been the better choice for me -- not so much for my boyfriend. Just the part about soaking the cakes with ganache tells me its perfect for me. I love that you made mini hearts, and I absolutely love the way you decorated them. I learn so much from you each time I read your blog!

  26. Chocolate, raspberries, cream.....need no introduction. Universally loved.....Want some NOW!

  27. Jill it definitely looks heavenly, and what a lovely presentation, you are superb dear!!

  28. Jill, these are gorgeous. You are a genius at decorating cakes--even tiny ones! I love the cream and raspberries and chocolate curls. They look like the perfect topping to these cakes.

  29. Your mini heart cakes look beautiful!! Did you sprinkle powdered sugar on the raspberries?
    I use my blog as my journal and when I feel like writing notes, I do so on a sticky notes. I'm one of those "writing in books is evil"-people :o) Must be a thing that stuck with me from when I was in HS.

  30. Oooh, can I be your Valentine (a little late)?!?

    Oh my, those look lovely and they sound fantstic. Good pick! I bought that book as soon as it came out and drooled over the pages. Glad to hear the cakes are as good as they sound.

  31. Jill- I went to USU also!! What a small world. Graduated in (shhhh don't tell anyone '93)

  32. Great presentation Jill. They look wonderful :)

  33. Jill,
    Looking at these step-by-step instructions just about killed me:) It just kept getting better and better! Your mini hearts are beautiful!
    I love the idea of making notations in your cookbook as a sort of journal. I must say that my favorite recipes of my mom's are the ones that she added notes to:) So personal.
    Now I'm going to go check out the Heavenly Cake blog and see the "featured baker." Congrats! all the food quotes, especially Erma Bombeck's:)

  34. OOOooOO stunning! Do you ever find yourself in/near Eugene? Would love to meet up for coffee sometime, I'm pretty sure you're the closest I've met to a "local" food blogger!

  35. Gorgeous! I'll be your Valentine! :D Great idea putting notes right in the cookbook. I'm with Amy, it would be so fun to meet up for coffee. I've only met Cathy from Wives with Knives so far and that was so fun! Hope your week is going well.

  36. Hi Jill! Those looks absolutely tempting!!! :) Love the idea of placing notes and dates on the books...I use sticky notes...and hope they don't fall off! :P

  37. I came to visit looking for a tiramisu, but I found these gorgeous chocolate cakes instead! They are stunning! I still haven't bought the book, but it's next on my list:)